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Cloud_765 Blog

RPG Maker VX Ace - making my own RPG

So, kjhg53 pointed me to a Steam sale for RPG Maker VX Ace a week and a half ago. I downloaded it as soon as I could since I wanted it very badly but thought $69.99 was a bit too expensive (it went on sale for $23.79). I'm making a game with it now which for now will be called "Glistade" (as has been the name when I was making a Glistade with RPG Maker 3 before it). 

For those interested, the plot of Glistade takes place roughly 2 years after the kingdom of Etauni switched rulers from their old king, Valen (whose health was failing) to one of the kingdom's highest-ranking knights, Zeraphion. The kingdom was just recovering after a war with a region named Plegia (I'm pulling a lot of stuff from other games in name here, so as you can see, the game will never be a commercial game :P). It turns out as the Plegians were defeated, a virus their forces were infected with spread across the Etauni kingdom, killing much of the army and putting Valen on his deathbed. Zeraphion, who was corrupted by the virus but still healthy, began summoning demons and killing any opposition to his iron-fisted rule. Etauni has fallen to slums and surrounding towns and cities have been heavily affected. 

I'm going to be taking input on this game so please send me a PM titled "Glistade" if you'd like to share your thoughts. Below is a link to the game, be aware this is just a demo and even this first portion of the game may get altered in pieces as I make progress in creating the game. 

Demo 1: https://www.dropbox.com/s/u7mooizg13b2j1g/Glistade.exe

Arista's Mystic Knight class will be changed to the name Spellblade in a later demo release. Please feel free to comment, give feedback, inform me of any technical issues, via PM. I am open to comments, critiques, curiosities, etc.

Well, that's all for now! Please enjoy the demo of Glistade and I hope to keep you guys updated! I apologize for the lack of Mega Man blogs, I took a break from them in order to work on my game. Till next time, take care!

~Cloud

My Opinions on Mega Man's Robot Masters: Mega Man 4 (1992)

If you haven't seen my previous blogs, I recommending doing so:

Mega Man 3 - http://www.gamespot.com/users/Cloud_765/show_blog_entry.php?topic_id=m-100-26038045
Mega Man 2 - http://www.gamespot.com/users/Cloud_765/show_blog_entry.php?topic_id=m-100-26036238
Mega Man 1 - http://www.gamespot.com/users/Cloud_765/show_blog_entry.php?topic_id=m-100-26034569

Now on to the present matter. I'm sure you know who is first here... Before I begin I'd like to mention that as repetitive as it is, Mega Man 4 has my favorite boss music, followed by 3. 

Toad Man

Really, was there a chance it would be anyone else? No. Toad Man is weaksauce and it's just best to get him out of the way first. I don't understand why Toad Man even needs a weakness, he's so easy to just shoot at and Mega Buster only (and no-damage at that) that the fact they gave him a weakness (the Drill Bomb) is just hilarious. His stage is a little irritating at first; his stage has wind physics in parts to push you back slightly while trying to jump toward the right. Then there's some sewer sections and a couple minibosses. The physics in this stage due to the rain and running water can make for a wonky experience but otherwise it's kinda neat and I like them. The music is nice too.

But as mentioned: Toad Man is pathetic. If you even see his Rain Flush go off you're doing it wrong. Shooting at him stops his dance, which stops his attack from going off, and his dance takes about 2 seconds to finish, giving you ample time to stop him. He'll also jump at you, but if timed right, and it's not hard to do that, he gets caught in a loop of attempting to use his attack, you shooting him and cancelling it, him jumping over you to try again, and the process repeating. Lol, Toad Man, go home, you're drunk. 

Dive Man

I like to get the water-themed stages out of the way in the beginning of Mega Man 4, because I find the more exciting stages to be able to save for later. Dive Man is my choice for the second stage to take on, and his stage can be tricky through rising and falling water combined with the traditional Mega Man water physics. I do like that the minibosses can be shoot at so quickly they rarely get a chance to do anything. In Dive Man's stage you can also fird the Wire item which is kind of a neat find and I like to use it in a couple key places in later stages so it's good to have early on.

Dive Man himself is fun to face due to his water physics and homing torpedoes. I recommend not focusing on high jumping too much and not bothering with charge shots. It's fun to jump pelt him over and over again, and I've found it effective. Actually, Dive Man is probably one of my favorite Robot Masters in this game, his fight is enjoyable when you get the hang of it.

Bright Man

Going third, is actually one of those stages I said I use the Wire for. Bright Man's stage is fairly tame, and somewhat mild. The music to it's kinda calm, and the stage is pretty neat. I like the platforms the stage uses that swing, however if you take a detour to grab a 1-up and an E-Tank, it's kinda tough to go back without the Wire, hence why I like having it. 

As for Bright Man himself, it's easier to beat him with Rain Flush, but still, I don't particularly like Bright Man. Mostly because I just find his habit of stopping me momentarily JUST TO JUMP ON ME to be complete and utter bull. However I do enjoy his fight and it's fun trying to get him to drop before he can down you through his stopper ability and fire at you himself. However, that time stop is still, and always will be, a b**** to handle.

Pharaoh Man

Next Robot Master I take on tends to be slightly random, but lately I've found myself going after Pharaoh Man next. His weakness is the Flash Stopper so it makes sense to go after him after Bright Man. The first part of the stage has quicksand which is a weird gimmick that is dropped afterward and seemingly never spoken of again, until the mud in Sting Chameleon's stage in X1. Lel. Anyway, then after that is enemy-intensive pyramid exploration with some dangerous platforms over spikes. Overall the music is peppy and I like the stage design of this stage more than most of the others in the game.

As for the Master himself, I just use Flash Stopper, end of discussion. I've seen that he is pretty much Quick Man on steroids, only he only takes 1 damage from the Mega Buster and not 2. Also he has his Pharaoh Shot which while awesome for you, is also just as effective against you, and I'd rather not go through the trama. So, I just put Pharaoh Man to rest with the Stopper.

Ring Man

Next up is this guy. Holy f***, why? Four minibosses? Extra long stage? Ring Man, if it weren't for the various placements of obstacles and enemies, your stage would be unbearable. But you know, I actually consider Ring Man's stage one of my favorites in the game. Anyway, I like the level design behind Ring Man's stage. The laser floors that disappear left-to-right are a neat gimmick, and I like that it's changed up with the yellow floors that go in the opposite direction later in the stage. The music is probably my favorite stage music out of the Robot Masters for this game.

Ring Man himself can be a pain but I find his weapon to be nice since it makes for a fun dodging game while you're trying to shoot at him. I won't lie though, Mega Buster-ing him can be hard. HARD. But fun. He's weak to the Pharaoh Shot so you should probably go after him with that if you have it. GENKI-DAMA~!!

Dust Man

Usually I go for Dust Man earlier but I've found myself pushing him slightly later in the middle of the cycle. His stage is pretty interesting but it has a few too many instant death traps. Pistons crushing you, garbage blocks dropping from the sky, geez Dr. Cossack, this is ridiculous! However, his stage is still pretty interesting to beat. Dust Man is fun to face, he has a vacuum move to try to suck you in (rendering him invincible) and also his signature dust shooting attack (which splits into pieces which fly backwards from where the large shot splits, like Shotgun Ice in X1). His boss fight is not overwhelming yet with a hint of dynamic to it, which I like. Dust Man is probably my other favorite Robot Master in this game, but much like Dive Man is plagued by a not-as-awesome stage.

Drill Man

I'm not even go into depth about Drill Man's stage (it's like Hard Man or Guts Man's stages, really, construction site business), because it's been done before. Drill Man himself though makes real use of his stage's theme and digs holes and comes out from parts of the ground while sometimes shooting his signature weapon. He's very difficult to hit unless you have the Dive Missile. The Drill Bombs are a neat weapon but are pretty much like the Crash Bomber, only in my opinion slightly better (but not as widely usable). Drill Man is that one Robot Master in the game where I can't really say much about him, he's kind of just there.

Skull Man

Skull Man is awesome-looking. I love the bone theme in his stage. I save him for last just because he's straight badass. Because I do him last, I don't play his stage as often as the others. I like the music though, and the path through the level is pretty straightforward. Aside from the cool theme, nothing really out of the ordinary.

Skull Man uses a shield power-up which is a b**** to deal with but Dust Crusher, Dust Man's weapon, is SUPAH EFFECTIVE to Skull Man, so I just hammer that at him all day until he dies. He's actually not too hard but as he uses a shield, it can be a task to get hits in. I do enjoy his fight though especially as the closing Robot Master to my typical Mega Man 4 run.

That's all for now, I'll put up Mega Man 5 in a week or two. Tata for now.

~Cloud

My Opinions on Mega Man's Robot Masters: Mega Man 3 (1990)

Another one of the best entries of the addicting Mega Man series, let's go over 3, now, without hesitation...

Top Man

He's pretty much the go-to Stage 1 of Mega Man 3. His stage isn't hard, and Top Man himself is pathetic. He literally only does 2 things: send a few easily-dodgeable top projectiles at you, then he spins around in place for a bit (becoming invincible) before moving to the other side of the screen, repeating the process. He's certainly not AS pathetic as Toad Man from Mega Man 4 (and we'll go over him next blog), but really, Top Man? That's all you can do? Hahahaha...

And what sucks is his powerup is the worst in the series. Aside from the fact that it's your win condition against a few very notable bosses (Shadow Man, and the final boss), everything about it screams extreme suckage. You can't fire or anything while you have the power equipped, it can't even be used at ground level, you HAVE to use it in midair, the attack frames create only a small window to hit anything, and the invincibility lasts a mere split second, not even the full length of the attack frames (hell, there might not even be invincibility at all!). At least his stage is fun.

Snake Man

Snake Man is pretty easy, enough that I like to tackle him 2nd. His stage is pretty manageable, and I like the unique design of the level. Not many snake-themed anythings in platformers. His battle can be a little rough at first without his weakness (and trust me, you likely WILL NOT have his weakness). Snake Man also has a really neat power-up. I like the idea of a weapon that travels the floor (guaranteed to hit non-airborn enemies) and can climb walls (isn't stopped by elevation changes). It's like Bubble Lead, only because there's no real Game Breaker weapon like in 2, the Search Snake actually has a chance to shine. The stage design is also more in favor of such a weapon being useful.

Needle Man

This guy's probably the hardest boss in the game for me before hitting the Wily Fortress, but I need the Rush Jet and DAMMIT I WILL HAVE MY RUSH JET. Needle Man's stage can be particularly brutal, but proper manuevering can get you by pretty effectively without much damage. It's Needle Man himself. Yes. THIS F***ING SHIT. It's not that his weapon is hard to dodge. It's basic game mechanics working against you.

Needle Man is pseudo-random and doesn't really follow a pattern. His jumps are RIDICULOUS. And combine these ridiculous jumps with Mega Man's natural allergy to touching a Robot Master (which tends to get him hurt in obscene amounts), and Needle Man is more than happy to make his weapon his secondary method of attack while he POUNCES you to death if you're unlucky. I've had fights where he wound up oddly pathetic, and other times where he was my worst nightmare. Overall, he does reward you generously. You get the Rush Jet, which in this game is one of the best unlockables in the game, as well as his weapon which is one of my favorite weapons in 3.

Shadow Man

Of course, now that I have easy access to multiple ways to bypass any obstacle in the game I might find annoying, it's time to tackle the rest of game with steel determination! First, I like to go after Shadow Man, because from him onward I'm going to want each Robot Master's weakness for the next one to make the rest of my game a bit easier (I refuse to fight the Robot Master that would make Needle Man easier, earlier in the game because I prefer to have Rush Jet and Gemini Man is a pain in the ass). 

Shadow Man's stage carries one of my favorite tunes for a stage theme in all of Mega Man, ranking up with the likes of Crash Man, Tornado Man, and a very few others. The stage design is really nice, too, and I love making use of the Search Snake obtained just a level or two prior (depending on the slight deviations I may make, though this list is my most solid path I take). The snakes really shine in this level due to a neat gimmick section where the floor and background are replaced with a slightly trippy space background, and since I don't know the elevations, sending out the snakes (which will also destroy the self-destructing robots along the way) is nice. 

Shadow Man himself is a pushover with the Top Spin, but without it he's pretty rough as he's the only Robot Master who can SLIDE. Yes, slide. So you could be trying to dodge an- NOPE, stole that right from under your feet. But then again you should have Top Spin, right? ...Right?

Spark Man

Not to be confused with Elemental HERO Sparkman of Yu-Gi-Oh!, Spark Man has a pretty fun stage with nice music, pretty straightforward. Spark Man himself is pretty challenging without the Shadow Blades, hence why I like to make sure to go into his fight with them. He hops around a lot and his attacks can rack up damage pretty quickly. Spark Man is actually probably the Robot Master in Mega Man 3 I've got the least to say about, as he's very very straightforward and it's one of those "power through the level, fight a tough boss" without too much real gimmick. His power-up is actually the same: a powerful spark ball that shoots straight out, that's it. 

Magnet Man

Magnet Man's stage would be my second-favorite stage in the game, but unfortunately, I think you all might know Cloud hates invisible block platforms. A lot. Floating magnet enemies that try to pull you in with magnetism, vacuuming devices blowing you to and fro while trying to make jumps, a lot of physics screws in Magnet Man's stage used in creative ways. Magnet Man himself, this is where things get interesting. 

Magnet Man is easily subdued with the Spark Shock. He shoots magnets out a couple times which might travel out in a set pattern or more homed in a bit. Then he likes to hop around and do the same thing, then tries to pull you in with his magnet power. I like the power-up Magnet Man gives as it's semi-homing and it has a LOT of reach. I've hit things far away from me with the magnets, and they're strong to boot, making them my favorite weapon in 3. 

Hard Man

Oh god. Where to begin. Hard Man's stage is pretty rough for me, first time going through. I can't remember all the times I screwed up, but then again I was new to the games at the time. Hard Man and I are not good friends. His battle isn't much better because he loves to just stop you when he crashes into the floor. Even if YOU ARE IN MIDAIR. Like, WTF Hard Man? I haven't even made a mention how your name sounds just silly. 

Thankfully, Hard Man is worth it. Magnet Missile makes the fight a lot easier, and you get Hard Knuckle, which is very useful for plowing throw a couple of the late-game bosses (and TRUST ME, YOU WILL NEED HARD KNUCKLE LIKE IT'S NOBODY'S BUSINESS). I do like Hard Man's stage music though.

Gemini Man

And here he is, guys. The one I save for last, is Gemini Man. His stage is honestly not that bad, actually. Especially done late game with all the things available to you. Colorful, crystaline caves and cliffsides fill Gemini Man's stage with a lot of pretty-ness. Gemini Man's stage has my second-favorite stage theme in the game, as well, which is one of the reasons I like to save him for last, as compared to 2, I don't memorize the stage themes as well in 3, and wanna go out with a bang at least.

Gemini Man, once you break the game with Rush Jet and blow through all the caves to get to him, is pretty hard, especially if you have no idea what you're doing. Now, for someone like me who usually goes into the fight with 1 E-Tank and has fought him a couple times over, my main method is just "outpower, outlast". You can actually normally outdamage Gemini Man if you shoot quickly enough and jump and move at the right times, and I don't care too much for no-damage runs (which I'm sure pretty much kill people at this point trying to do such a thing), so most of the time I take him out quickly. If that's not enough, he's weak to Search Snake, my second-favorite weapon in the game (next to Magnet Missile). I do admit Gemini Man is a much cooler way for me to wrap up a set of Robot Masters though, than Fire Man or Quick Man.

So, as you can guess, Mega Man 4 will be our next game. Thanks for reading and I'll see ya next time!

~Cloud

My Opinions on Mega Man's Robot Masters: Mega Man 2 (1989)

And now we have my favorite Mega Man game, Mega Man 2. Memorable stage design, some of the best music in the series IMO, and definitely some of my favorite Robot Masters. Let's get to it, again in the order I ordinarily tackle the Robot Master's stages.

Air Man

I start with this guy. Despite the really awesome rock ballad made out of his stage theme, he is really not hard (not even on the "true" difficulty setting, the American 'Difficult'). His stage theme is nice, and the stage design is basic yet challenging enough to keep you on your toes. I like the "no nonsense" feel this stage gives; outside of the clouds obscuring an enemy or two at a couple points in the stage, the placement of obstacles and enemies is very deliberate. Now, Air Man himself, I like him. I like his design, and his power is pretty unique and cool to face against (he blows little tornadoes at you that push you back, you have to leap over them to get in range of attacking him or the bullets bounce off the tornadoes). He's balanced nicely by being a glass cannon to the Mega Buster even on Difficult. Overall, a Robot Master I have no complaints with and love facing. I pretty much just brute force his fight and outdamage him. ^^

Metal Man

OF COURSE I NEED THE F***ING METAL BLADES. THANKS~!! Because I like Air Man's stage giving me Item 2 (which in turn gives me access to a 1-up and a second E-Tank on top of the freebie in this stage). Metal Man's stage is also very basic, with a ton of enemies to grind bonus lives off should you need that. Metal Man himself, is a fun fight. On a conveyor belt, Metal Man tosses his blades at you at different angles, with the conveyor belt switching between pushing left-right and pushing right-left. It's ideal to have the conveyor belt pushing you into the wall, no matter whether you're on the left or right side of the screen. Your Mega Buster doesn't do nearly as much damage as his blades will do to you so the trick is to jump out of the way of the blades while firing the Buster so that Metal Man hits your bullets. I find the fight to be one of the more fun ones in the series, and of course, METAL BLADES BREAK THE GAMES AND MAKE EVERY ENEMY EASY AS PISS TO DEFEAT. Which is not a bad thing, just saying. :3

Bubble Man

And the first level I take advantage of my broken game-nuking power-up is of course the water-themed level. F*** those fish enemy robots, especially the anglers that spawn the other guys out. And f*** those frogs, too. It's not that they're hard, it's just a pain in the ass dealing with them without the Blades, which I am eternally grateful to have. I find Bubble Man's battle kinda chaotic, myself. After carefully navigating an underwater tunnel of sorts with spike urchins at the ceilings, you come into the room with Bubble Man AND HE LITERALLY JUST FLIES AROUND EVERYWHERE AND BUBBLES GET BLOWN AT YOU. Not that it's hard of a fight, but compared to the very controlled feeling you get out of the stage, the boss fight is very hectic. But it's a lot of fun, and Bubble Lead is a nice power-up... if the Metal Blades didn't exist.

Heat Man

F*** THIS STAGE. Ice Man, I understand you still hate me for Mega Man 1, but why you do dis to me? T_T ALL THESE INVISIBLE BLOCKS ARE BAD FOR CLOUD. And that is why I fight Air Man first, kids. To ensure I have Item 2. So I can use Item 2 and bypass a lot of the invisible block crap I really don't like dealing with. Other than those blocks, or moreover, a particular segment over a bottomless pit, the stage is a blast and has really groovy music. And a hot sewer tunnel? That's a unique stage theme, I like it. Heat Man himself is easy with the Bubble Lead, and his attack pattern isn't too hard to deal with if he gets locked into charging at you more often. Without the proper power-ups I consider him one of the easier bosses still, though he's still more of a challenge than Air Man, Metal Man, or Bubble Man.

Wood Man

If I had to pick one stage that's my favorite in this game, it'd probably be Wood Man's stage just for the sheer beauty of parts of the stage. Lush forested area, going underground and inside trees, really cool feeling. It's a very combat-heavy stage, which sets itself apart from quite a few of the other stages in this game, which I like. After a few minibosses and cleverly places enemy-heavy segments, Wood Man greets us and he is pretty burly. Without any power-ups, trying to damage him fast enough before he reaches you is pretty tough, IMO. I like the fight though and while Leaf Shield is my least-used powerup in all of Mega Man 2, I like going up against Wood Man and his usage of it.

Crash Man

Haters might hate, but Crash Man (also known as Clash Man) is my favorite Robot Master in Mega Man 2, and his stage music is also my favorite Robot Master stage music in the game (and somewhere in my top 5 for the series). Crash Man's stage is also one of few vertical climb stages in Mega Man I like. Crash Man himself is a fun fight, as most of what he does is in reaction to you, so you have to be clever about where you are in the room and what you do to hit him. Or you could do what I do: get right up in his face and Air Shooter him until he does. :cool: The Crash Bomber is needed for a puzzle boss later in the game and it helps unlock some doors in a few stages, enough that sometimes I shoved Crash Man back to the 3rd in order, but usually I face him 6th. 

Flash Man

And now for the slidey floor ice world stage with a Robot Master that makes no f***ing sense to be here. Flash Man's fight is actually one of my favorite because besides his ability to stop time shortly, he basically has the same options as you for fighting, so a Mega Buster-only fight with him becomes a hell of a fun time. His fight is also very satisfying to come to after the stage leadng up to it. His Flash Stopper I never really need until later in the game either, so fighting him 7th never really hurts me much, since I just need it in Quick Man's stage and in one of the Wily Stages and, that's about it. 

Quick Man

THIS MOTHERF***ER. This guy right here. I can never tell when he'll be easy or hard. His boomerange aren't always that hard to dodge, either. But HE LOVES TO JUST JUMP RIGHT INTO MY FACE, and we all know how allergic Mega Man is to another robot touching him. Quick Man, despite being weak to the Mega Buster like Air Man, is undoubtedly one of the harder bosses in Mega Man with just the Mega Buster. One cool thing is Quick Man is the only enemy weak to the Flash Stopper in the entire game, and it drains half his health on a full tank of the weapon. Or you could do what I do, and make the DEADLY LASER BEAMS cease firing earlier in the stage to obtain a few items more easily and ensure your safe travel down to the bottom to confront the Robot Master in the first place. Either way, I save Quick Man for last, and a lot of players will understand why.

Well, that's all for this blog, next up with be Mega Man 3's Robot Masters. Lol, Top Man sucks, just putting that out there already.

~Cloud

My Opinion on Mega Man's Robot Masters: Mega Man (1987)

I love the idea behind the various Robot Masters in the Mega Man games. I've played all the 8-bit ones and I really like them all. I was going to do a top list of my favorite Robot Masters, but I feel that... would not be enough. Much like Pokemon consumed me many years ago, Mega Man is begining to do the same. So, I'm beginning a series a blogs on the 8-bit Mega Man games (1-6, 9, 10) including 9 and 10 for theming purposes, and sharing my opinions on each Robot Master, in the order I typically play them in my runs of the game. So, let's go!

Bomb Man

This is the first guy I go up against. I have many reasons why, but mostly, Bomb Man is a ****ing coward. Seriously, if you get close to him, his solution is to jump backwards away from you. His only method of attack is to throw bombs at you which have a pretty predictable but possibly hard to dodge flight pattern. It's not hard to fight him and he's probably IMO one of the easiest Robot Master fights in the series. I enjoy his stage though and feel it's a really nice stage. Good aesthetic, good music, and memorable design. But he himself is just too pathetic that I feel I'm not doing the game justice if I don't play him first. Besides, I need his bombs for Elec Man's stage.

Cut Man

Cut Man is usually the first pick for most Mega Man players, and it's not hard to understand why. His stage isn't hard to plow through without any sort of powerup from a previous stage compared to other stages (Elec Man, Ice Man...). His attacks are a bit tougher to dodge than Bomb Man, I've found. However, I've easily just beaten him through attrition and back and forth blows since Cut Man's weapon is slower than the Mega Buster and you can outdamage him before he gets a chance to really known you down. His weapon is pretty useful for Guts Man's stage and a couple other places, too.

Guts Man

Yeah, this guy! His stage is a blast (even those devious platforms at the beginning, which are easy to get over when you know the timing), I like the construction and rocky cliff theme. Would've been nice to see more of the construction site theme in the stage though because it mostly gets discarded in favor of a general rocky theme later in the stage. Guts Man himself is a fun fight, which predates the quaking gimmick used by a couple of bosses in Super Mario Bros. 3. He tosses rocks at you which are not too hard to dodge in the first fight, and shooting him down isn't too hard when you get the timing of the jumps, but you have to be _perfect_ in your timing. I don't find him cheap, though, and I like how they use his mass as a way to add dynamic to his fight. Too bad his weapon is nigh useless outside of a couple niche places, specifically getting one of the best platforming gadgets in the Mega Man series.

Elec Man

I used to think this guy was hard as hell, but then found out a trick to beating him that makes him look like a tool. I find it ridiculous his Thunder Beam does so much damage (most damaging weapon any Robot Master has when used on Mega Man), both to Mega Man and when used by Mega Man. Don't get me started on how much his stage annoys me for the first half of it... I do like Elec Man, though, I like his powerup, and I think he's the coolest-looking of the group from the original. And of course once you have his Thunder Beam you can just OP your way through the rest of the game, even Yellow Devil (especially with the *cough* Pause Trick).

Ice Man

SERIOUSLY JUST **** THIS GUY. His stage is balls hard, HE is balls hard to dodge his lethal "three strikes you're out" shots, and of course most of the stage including the boss room is all Slippy Slidey Ice World with the typical ice physics. I enjoy Ice Man's stage only when I come in with the Magnet Beam acquired from Elec Man's stage, able to just skip over the couple parts of the stage I REALLY DO NOT LIKE. In all of Mega Man, I've never been so frustrated with a level in my life. I'll say Ice Man's weapon once acquired is really cool and gives fun results in Fire Man's stage, but that's all that's worth saying from me. **** this guy. 

Fire Man

This guy on the other hand. I like this guy. My personal favorite Robot Master in the game, actually. I find his stage really fun to play through, has an intense yet not cheap feeling to it, and the fight with him, while like Ice Man and Elec Man makes his weapon WAYYYY too OP (please nerf), I do find the whole experience of his stage to be more enjoyable than the rest of the Robot Masters, and overall his stage is my favorite in the game. I also like that I go in with Ice Man's weapon so I can easily blow him away if he's proving to be too hard. But yeah, overall, I like this guy, and his weapon is really cool in that it has a close range aspect and long range aspect to it both at once. And that kicks ass.

Well that's it. Next time I'll do Mega Man 2's Robot Masters! And please, share your thoughts on Mega Man's Robot Masters! Maybe once I play the PSP remake Powered Up, I'll add my thoughts on Time Man and Oil Man? We'll see.

~Cloud

Back with a new laptop hard drive, and I KEEP GETTING FREE STUFF

Okay, so, I was gone for like 3 weeks because I had no laptop. I recently got my laptop back and I have got to say it's bittersweet because I lost everything from the old one, but the new one has about 25% more space on it. I went from having 210 GB to having 270 GB. Also it runs a lot smoother. 

Now, I've also been getting lots of stuff for literally nothing lately. It's nice because I hadn't been in a great mood because of very personal stuff so I've been getting cheered up. On top of having all the NES Mega Man games (I bought those), I ended up with a blue DSi which my boss gave me because no one came to claim it in over a month of holding onto it. I traded it away to someone for a silver PSP so I have a PSP again!

Also, one of my friends gave me his Mega Man Zero Collection when I was gonna give it back to him. He just told me to keep it. So that's cool. I do enjoy Mega Man and more Mega Man is always good. Most recently I went over to hang out and he gave me Super Mario 64 DS which was pretty cool.

Also been watching a lot of anime. Namely, started The Devil is a Part-Timer! which is very fun, and A Certain Scientific Railgun which has become one of my favorite anime. I also have become a huge fan of The World God Only Knows recently and I'm gonna start reading the manga and hopefully Season 3 will be out soon!! :3 Among other anime which is all on my MAL account if anyone wants me to link to that. ^^ 

So, that's all for now, glad to be back and hope to see you all around.

~Cloud

Top 10 Endgame Bosses

I've been wanting to do this blog for a while, so let's get right to it. Some video games are great. Some of them have satisfying endgames. But some games, those really throw their all into the fight once the final hour has arrived. In this countdown I'll take a look back at my favorite endgame bosses (1 of which is not technically a final boss but is the conclusion to said game), and in the comments below, feel free to share what your favorites are!

10. The World Ends With You

After you defeat the Game Master of the third and final Reaper's Game, you come face to face with the Conductor of the game, Megumi Kitanji. He's passionate about what he's trying to do (spoilers aside) and he's going to do his best to stop you from beating him which would result in his objective not being met. He confronts you himself, and after beating him once, he transforms into his Noise form, a giant serpent called Anguis Cantus.

After defeating HIM, he transforms AGAIN after transforming with someone else (spoilers withheld), to a more dangerous serpent Noise called Draco Cantus. The entire last day builds up to this climactic fight, and it has a few small twists to the battle formula and is one of the only fights in the entire game you'll mostly be tackling with just Neku by himself. Needless to say, it is one epic fight and I can't say much more without giving away very important story elements. 

9. Pokemon Black/White

Normally, Pokemon games end at the Pokemon League of a given region, and your journey ends when you defeat the Champion. BUT NOT THIS TIME. After defeating the Elite Four, a castle comes out of the ****ing ground and surrounds the Pokemon League. It's N's castle. you have to confront him one last time, in what is an epic fight between truth and ideals. After that, his own father and a member of the Seven Sages of Team Plasma, Ghetsis, flips out at N's defeat and fights you himself after revealing the full intention he had for Team Plasma, and you take him down and bring an end to Team Plasma for the time being. 

This endgame blew my mind despite being 19 years old at the time I played it and having been into Pokemon for over 11 years. I thought Pokemon was falling into a routine, and while I really liked Cynthia in Diamond/Pearl, I was waiting for when there'd be a twist to the plot somehow. And in Black/White, N's success with the Pokemon League up until you beat him was a welcome change and not actually fighting any sort of Champion for a final boss with Ghetsis was really cool too. N having a legendary Pokemon helped crank the intensity up to eleven.

8. Kingdom Hearts II

HOW OVER-THE-TOP CAN YOU MAKE ONE STRING OF FINAL BOSSES? First you go through a strange city, then you fight Xemnas in a weird knight form. Then you have to fight him on a giant Nobody dragon. Then you fight him in the knight form AGAIN but you're falling from the sky but you look like you're flying and you have to make your way to him. THEN you fight him finally in his usual form but in a different white/black cloak in a strange void of nothingness. AND I MIGHT BE MESSING UP MY ORDER BECAUSE THE ENDGAME JUST CONSISTS OF SO ****ING MUCH.

The first Kingdom Hearts almost made it to this list too because of how over the top it was, but few endgames can boast being that exaggerated as Kingdom Hearts II. And you get the epic partnership of Sora and Riku, who was reformed from falling into darkness in the first game and now a sweet dark hero type character. It just screamed awesome for me. Cheesy admittedly, but still a great way to wrap up the game.

7. No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle

I love NMH2. I really do. It took the solid foundation of the first, and made it better. It did away with the unnecessary hubworld fluff (as novel as it was), and polished up the rest of the game. And the entire game revolves around Travis' thirst for vengeance against Jasper Batt Jr. and how he killed a good friend of his. Travis relunctantly assassinates his way through the top ranked assassin's a SECOND time, and learns that Jasper Batt Jr. himself is the top ranked assassin. He confronts him. After learning what his identity was (which surprised him), you begin the epic final boss fight with him.

And that boss fight ends up with three phases. You first fight him inside a small car and have defend yourself and make openings to hit him. After that, he makes himself buffer though some power and larger, and you fight what essentially is an evil superhero (looks like a superhero, but really isn't). After warding off attacks and knocking him down again, he increases in size AGAIN, in a parody to how final bosses progress in other games, and he's literally this giant balloon version of himself, and you fight him on the top of his destroyed office building. It's a challenging fight, but it's soooo satisfying when you finally bring him down.

6. Dark Cloud 2

Few games are beloved to me as Dark Cloud 2, and the game did a great job of wrapping up its story. You fight Emperor Griffin in his palace, only to learn that a dark creature had parasitically taken over his body and controlled him to do everything that he did. You then go through a weird dream realm and fight a bunch of bosses, and you confront the Dark Element, the real "Emperor Griffin", while it threatens to DROP THE FREAKING MOON ON THE PLANET. No, I'm serious, Majora's Mask is not the only game to have the threat of the moon being used as a weapon. Dark Cloud 2's world also had 2 moons, 1 of which was to be used to destroy the planet by the Dark Element.

You have a pretty good view of the second, fake moon and you have a tense countdown of 5 minutes to kill the Dark Element. The battle takes place on a small space of floor inside the strange colorful place near the top of the long spiral that you climbed up on the way. It's pretty atmospheric and the fight itself, which has the Dark Element switching its cloak coloring to grant immunity to long-ranged or close-ranged weapons (since the two main characters get 1 each) was a nice twist and added strategy. 

5. Sonic & Knuckles

I have a hard time loving bosses in platformers because they tend to lack the intensity of a well-established RPG fight. But Sonic & Knuckles, which wraps up the Death Egg saga of the Sonic game timeline, ends beautifully. First you have an ordinary boss fight in the Death Egg Zone, which following that you chase Eggman before he jumps into his Death Egg Robot, and you have to hit the fingers of the hands he's using to try to crush you.

When that fails, he destroys pieces of the Death Egg as he follows you and attacks you with fire from his robotic nose (I'm serious), and a charged laser beam from the Master Emerald he's using for energy for the robot. In order to damage him you have to hit the Master Emerald's holding machine carefully and bounce off it before you fall from the platforms the robot's knocking down in its wake. And if that's not enough, destroying the robot doesn't end the game. Eggman tries to get away with the Master Emerald riding his little ship, and you get to chase him down and hit him while the rest of the Death Egg falls apart behind you. 

Leaving out the Doomsday Zone which is a whole 'nother layer added on entirely, this is one of the most epic endgames I've ever gotten to experience in a platformer, and while I tend not to give Sonic & Knuckles enough credit, it did wrap up the Death Egg saga in a very cool manner.

4. Touhou Shinreibyou ~ Ten Desires

Not all of you know Touhou so here's a video link to the boss fight, because this might be hard to imagine what I'm explaining otherwise: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIZG7Rb8yMk. Good? Okay. So the plot here is Reimu found a weird disturbance and had to find out why spirits were flying around everywhere. She finds Toyosatomimi no Miko and a small group of people who practiced Taoism and tried to become immortal (and had people stop believing in them, sending them to Reimu's world, Gensokyo), and then Reimu (or whatever girl you pick) confronts Miko. After this, an Extra scenario can be unlocked, where Reimu goes to the Moriya Shrine and is intercepted by the playful tanuki girl Mamizou. And this fight happens.

IT ****ING HAPPENS. I love the playful music, and the entire theming of Mamizou's attacks is just bizarre in the coolest way possible. Her normal, non-spellcard attacks, she doesn't fool around with and literally just hurls large orbs every ****ing direction, but her spellcard attacks feature her bullets TURNING INTO LIVING THINGS, including gingerbread man looking humanshapes, frogs, birds, and dog-things. Land, sea, air, human. And to turn it up to 11, one of her spellcards has her transform into REIMU HERSELF and shooting trademark amulets at you, as well as leaving behind frogs which explode into amulets (as opposed to the feather-like bullets they normally explode into). 

I've only ever beaten her one time, but fighting her is so satisfying. And I have a thing for tanukis ever since Super Mario Bros. 3 and Mario and Luigi being able to turn into them through that power-up. And Mamizou delivered.

3. Chrono Trigger

After going through time many many times you finally get to fight Lavos in the Black Omen, and you learn that there's more to Lavos than that exterior meteor monster you've seen all game. Not only do you fight a boss rush of a lot of the game's bosses with Lavos as the proxy, you get to fight Lavos itself normally, then you fight a strange Cell-like creature inside of Lavos. You go INSIDE OF LAVOS when you finish this beast off because its head retreated into its body. And then, after THAT, you fight its core: a weird alien being and 2 small bits accompanying it...

Until you learn the twist that ONE OF THE BITS IS THE CORE AND THE ALIEN ISN'T THE REAL TARGET. Many gamers who are genre-savvy get thrown for a loop when they learn Lavos' last form isn't the unique alien creature, but actually one of those bits. And until you start throwing attacks around, you have no way of knowing, adding to the tense challenge of finally ridding the planet of the horrible beast. To accompany it, the background spans through space-time and you get to see the various settings you've been to, which influence some of the core's attacks. Really cool indeed.

2. Final Fantasy VII

You dive deep inside the earth through the North Crater to fight Sephiroth for real. You defeat JENOVA for the 4th and final time, and then you face Sephiroth, who was turned into some strange monster. You get to tackle the fight with multiple parties if you want to. Then when you think Sephiroth's defeated, he becomes an angellic god-like... thing, with epic latin choir accompanying this. It's one of the coolest final bosses I've ever gotten to play, and while a lot of people like to mock it nowadays, I like to give credit where its due; if not for this game, I wouldn't have played any other Final Fantasy titles, and Sephiroth is an awesome villain. I found the final boss fight with him highly dynamic and entertaining. It helps that his forms gain stats depending on whether you used the gamebreaking summon on JENOVA before him or if you have any Lv.99 characters.

1. Pokemon Gold/Silver 

Yes, wrapping up our countdown is another Pokemon game. And no I'm not talking about Lance here. I'm talking about the game's TRUE final boss. You've collected Kanto's badges after defeating the entire Johto region, and been given permission to venture to Mt. Silver. You traverse the eerie, dark cave. You reach the last room of the final dungeon of this 60+ hour Pokemon game, and you see nothing but a single path forward and black void surrounding you (assuming the original here, for atmosphere). You reach the other side to see a trainer standing there, and approach them. All they say before you're rushed into a fight is "..."

This is how the epic final battle of Gold/Silver pulls you in. You fight not just any trainer, but the hero of the entire Kanto region from 3 years ago. You're fighting a former champion that stepped down in order to continue growing stronger. You're fighting a trainer that was the FIRST to mess with and successfully defeat Team Rocket. And you get that epic Champion Battle music that Lance got along with Red holding nothing but Pokemon obtained through events in Yellow (Espeon implied to be the Eevee from Celadon). You get to know why there's only 1 Snorlax in Kanto. He has the second one.

Red is in himself an epic character in Gold/Silver for being a hero 3 years before you began your journey in Johto. And you get to fight him. Not many games can make a new installment and have the game wrap up by BEATING THE FIRST GAME'S PROTAGONIST. But to this day Gold/Silver are my favorite games in the series, and not only was the pacing of the game great, but having Red as its final fight just makes it that much more awesome. 

New ideas for Pokemon

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It's a series that is one of the most unique turn-based RPGs gamers could pick up today. It's survived for 15 years. This year actually marks its 15th anniversary for American gamers. The series has grown over the years, with new regions to explore, Pokemon to capture, and trainers to battle. The spin-offs have given fans of the series new ways to experience the Pokemon world, with series like Pokemon Ranger and Pokemon Mystery Dungeon. Being a longtime fan of the series myself, I can never help but imagine what the series would be like with new twists. 

Pokemon began as a pair of monster-collecting RPGs in 1996 in Japan as Pocket Monsters Red and Pocket Monsters Green. You play as a boy named Red from Pallet Town on a quest to become the best trainer and capture all the little monsters in the world. But you also have a rival, Blue (Green in Japan), who is the grandson of the starting town's professor, who is one step ahead of you at every turn. You even have to take down a criminal organization along the way. It was a simple formula that worked very effectively. Characters were portrayed well and the games had a good atmosphere. And this formula continued as the skeleton for every main series game that followed. 

We're up to the fifth generation now, which is already coming to an end with the announcement of sixth generation games Pokemon X and Pokemon Y. Each generation of Pokemon has introduced some new things, but the games have largely retained the same flow and have yet to take large leaps in story and characterization, which has slowly turned some potential players away. Pokemon could use some fresh new ideas to help propel it to new heights. 

Picture this: you keep the basic formula of having 8 Gym Leaders, and a Pokemon League with an Elite Four. But instead of the plot centering more on this "be the best" goal, the Gym Leaders are secretly all villains part of an underground organization which works similar to Team Rocket, and the Elite Four, who are without a Champion, ask for your help to get rid of them since they can't do it themselves or there could be a region-wide uproar. They're simply powerless to do much outside of try to find help. There's more plot involvement which uses the basic Pokemon formula. Rather than discard what makes Pokemon so simple but inviting, it could just be improved upon with a more engaging story.

Pokemon Black and Pokemon White are a great example of where a little bit of better storytelling can go; Team Plasma's attempts to control Unova and N's involvement in the entire scheme and being tricked by his own father all add interesting pieces to a puzzle that you get to experience. In the sequels, players got to see how all this turmoil changed Unova, from Team Plasma's splitting up to Alder's resignation as Champion. But it could have been even better. 

But not to stop there, the atmosphere could be fixed to work with this new angle. Parts of the region look decayed, the environment is being tampered with as this villainous team is working towards its goals. The only safe havens are the Pokemon Centers scattered around the region, which are no longer in the cities but are found only on different routes to help drive the point home of a region in the midst of chaos. 

Every previous region in the Pokemon world has felt very secure even with the bad guys running around and trying to cause trouble. If Game Freak really wants to write a good plot where there's conflict between the villains and the hero, they could add in atmospheric changes too. It could completely change the feel of the game, while keeping it wholely compatible with any other games and retaining the same formula that works so well. There could even be more Pokemon that look manmade which have been let loose to add to this. Your rival in this game could be the leader of the criminal gang for a plot twist! There's so many possibilities here. 

After 15 years of Pokemon, I'm sure longtime fans are looking for something new. The spin-offs are a good sign of where we could see the main games look to for their next adventures. Pokemon Colosseum may not have been the best Pokemon game, but it had very good ideas for a story that could work in the main series as well. The main series could take a cue from Pokemon Mystery Dungeon and make the legendary Pokemon more involved in the plot. It's good to see that with other developers, the series is branching out with games such as Ranger, Mystery Dungeon, and Conquest, and this is something the Pokemon series really needs: branching out into new horizons.

The universe of Pokemon really is something that has a lot of potential that have been so far left untapped. If Game Freak can create a game like Pokemon Gold and Pokemon Silver, or Pokemon Black/White and their sequels, they can definitely stretch out even further and create a Pokemon game with story as powerful as a Final Fantasy title. And they wouldn't even need to ruin their game or change its structure at all to do it.

Getting sucked into Mega Man

Okay, so one night I downloading Mega Man 3 off the eShop because I had the spare money and I had the first 2 already. I was always interested in Mega Man but never spent too much time on it. Until now. I've been listening to the music from the 8-bit games (including 9, A LOT of 9 actually, and 10), and playing the first three Mega Man games on my 3DS. I've beaten Mega Man 2 on Normal (the English equivalent to an Easy mode that was never in the Japanese Rockman 2), and will likely be taking it on on the legitimate Difficult setting sometime soon, where it'll be on equal footing with all other Mega Man games. I decided I'll talk about each of the first three games, since I'm at least at the Wily Stages in all 3 of them. Let me say first that as a newbie to Mega Man, the 3DS' ability to savestate is a godsend for helping me improve at this game without the frustration of having to start allllllll over again from the beginning of a stage (continues or no).

Mega Man

Beginning with the first game! I like the music, some of the stage music is really nice, and while the boss music is chaotic and repetitive, I like it too. The lack of E-Tanks in this game adds a bit more challenge. I like the variety of the Robot Masters (bomb, cutter, ice, electricity, fire, and... muscle? :|) with Guts Man, Bomb Man, Cut Man, Fire Man, Ice Man, and Elec Man. I like the atmosphere of the game and it's definitely a hell of a lot of fun. Guts Man's stage gives me heart attacks with the early-level segment with the platforms that drop in some spaces (after the first). 

My only real large complaint with the first game outside of nitpicking is that unlike other Mega Man games after it, stopping after a run causes Mega Man to slide slightly. It's not in any other Mega Man game and it may not be very noticeable, but it interferes with a few of my jumps in some stages. Other than that it's a solid game overall despite anything else I could say about it.

Mega Man 2

OH MY GOD THIS GAME IS DELICIOUS. Awesome variety in Robot Masters (this game has Metal Man, Air Man, Bubble Man, Wood Man, Crash Man, Heat Man, Flash Man, and Quick Man), awesome music (of all the music in the classic series, it's either this game or 9's that pleases me the most), and great power-ups (Metal Blades are so f***ing broke it's hilarious, and Quick Boomerang laughs at tanky enemies but taking them out in so few hits). I really love the level design, as most to almost all the levels are pretty ambitious and well-thought-out. 

I can't find much to complain about 2, honestly. It's awesome. The fact it has an easier difficulty to allow newer players to come in and play without the scary high difficulty the series is typically known for is a blessing, and with everything that makes it such a great game compounded altogether, I must say it's a damn shame I never played it sooner, it is the best platformer I've played in a long time, and only truly surpassed in my own opinion by Super Mario Bros. 3. 

Mega Man 3

The third game in the series really stretches out gameplay a bit with a few additions. Rush makes his debut in this game (and he's awesome, by the way), 8 new Robot Masters which are pretty cool (not as cool as 2's :P, but we have Hard Man, Top Man, Snake Man, Spark Man, Magnet Man, Gemini Man, Shadow Man, and Needle Man), and Doc Robots which appear occupying 4 of the 8 Robot Masters' stages after their defeat who use the powers of the Robot Masters from 2. This game also introduces Proto Man, who calls himself Break Man at one point in the game. 

Mega Man 3 has some good music, really tough bosses and challenging stages, interesting level theming and design, but overall the game can't compare to Mega Man 2 when everything's put together, simply because everything 3 does, 2 does better. But 3 is still a really good game and I like it more than 1 so far. 

I'm really excited for Mega Man 4, Mega Man 5, and eventually Mega Man 6 heading to the eShop. I'm going to be buying Mega Man 9 and Mega Man 10 on WiiWare soon as well (WiiWare because the Wii Remote sideways feels right for this kind of game). While the games are challenging, the style of the games has drawn me in and I wonder why I didn't get into the series sooner. I've also been playing Zero Collection on DS a bit and hope to play Mega Man X sometime in the near future (my friend owns a copy of it and an SNES so I should have no problem). 

Anyway, that's all for now. See ya next blog. Hope you've all been well and take care!

~Cloud

My favorite video game companies!

I decided to focus more on involvement in the game industry rather than developer/publisher complicated stuff. I couldn't also make a list this time ranking-wise because there's complications due to all the different types of companies on this list (some publish, some develop, some do both, some have occasionally done distribution but otherwise didn't do either). I'll also provide a YouTube video of what song I listened to while typing up each section (since I figured it would be neat to do and I like embedding!).

Let's start with a company you all probably know...

Capcom

Founded on: June 1983
Notable games/series: Mega Man, Street Fighter, Ace Attorney, Resident Evil

My only complaints I have with Capcom is how they've cancelled games (like several Mega Man games after hyping up their fanbase), and the fact they love to release updated versions of their fighting games a little too soon. But I can't really hate a company with the ability to put out so many good games. The intense platforming of Mega Man, the comedic Ace Attorney, the all-around great Street Fighter games, even series I've not dabbled in much I can still appreciate Capcom for. Can't go wrong with a good Capcom game. So far my all-time favorite game from them is Mega Man 2, but Marvel VS Capcom 3 and Street Fighter IV are also awesome games. 

Square Enix

Founded on: September 1975 (Enix), September 1983 (Square), April 2003
Notable games/series:  Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Kingdom Hearts, Tomb Raider

Ahhhhh, Square. I may dislike the path Final Fantasy took post X, but I can't deny I still love your games. Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest are both powerhouse RPG series. And some of your one-offs are simply fantastic. I have to give credit where it's due: While I'd been playing turn-based RPGs since Pokemon, Square's many RPGs were what really got me into the genre and aside from a few outsiders, really defined it for me for a while. FOUR of my favorite RPGs ever are from Square: Kingdom Hearts II, Final Fantasy VII, Chrono Trigger, and The World Ends With You. And I have a strange admiration for a lot of the characters, like Luneth from Final Fantasy III, Rydia from Final Fantasy IV, Neku from TWEWY, and Sora from KH, just to name a few. 

Sony Computer Entertainment

Founded on: November 1993
Notable games/series: Ape Escape, Hot Shots Golf, Ratchet & Clank, Sly Cooper 

Oh man, where to begin! SCE (more specifically, SCEA) brought me SO MANY defining games for my childhood. Once my family got a PlayStation in 1999, Sony pretty much got all our gaming money for the next 8-9 years without rivalry (when it came to home consoles, I still avidly followed Nintendo's portable systems). Be it Ape Escape (still wish a proper Ape Escape 4 would come T_T), Ratchet & Clank, or publishing Crash and Spyro in their prime on the original PS, or publishing what is (for now) my favorite game ever in Dark Cloud 2, SCE is responsible for many great gaming memories and a lot of nostalgia I hold from them. I tend to appreciate their more family-friendly titles which many people here may or may not recognize. Regardless, I do love them and what they do. 

Namco Bandai

Founded on: July 1950 (Bandai), June 1955 (Namco), March 2006
Notable games/series: Pac-Man, Xenosaga, Katamari, Tales

One of the very first names when I think of retro gaming, even before Nintendo, is Namco. Always. Namco had so many great arcade hits I don't even know where to begin. Before us whippersnappers were enjoying our Mario, Namco was making bank from Pac-Man machines, Galaga, Dig Dug, you name it. While they merged now, most of my love of this company goes to Namco here. They even own another one of the more well-known long-running RPG series (Tales). They might not get the attention of gamers like a lot of other companies, but one cannot ignore Namco Bandai and their own arsenal of games you'd be foolish to miss out on. I'm glad that after many decades, Namco's still kickin', and there's no sign of them giving up on video games any time soon.

SEGA

Founded on: 1940 (as Service Games)
Notable games/series: Sonic the Hedgehog, Phantasy Star, Ecco the Dolphin, Shinobi

A company who for better or worse, really listens to their fans. I'm serious, they pretty much take in fan input more than any other company I've seen. And in my opinion, SEGA is the strongest and healthiest of the companies current third-party that had their own consoles. To add, they also are responsible for my favorite mascot in all of gaming, and one titan of a gaming mascot at that. While Sonic's had his ups and down, it'd be pretty ignorant for one to deny Sonic's place in gaming history. SEGA was the company calling Nintendo out with a megaphone in the early 90s when no other company could keep up with the mammoth gaming company. They also gave us great action titles like Shinobi and Bayonetta. Did I mention SEGA games tend to have some pretty kickass music?

Nintendo

Founded on: September 1889 (yes, 1889, as a card company at the time)
Notable games/series: Super Mario, Kirby, Pokemon, The Legend of Zelda

Saved the best for last! Nintendo just has soooooo many games, and with essentially complete control over the handheld market, as well as producing some awesome consoles (NES and SNES especially, though the Wii is also great despite all the hate it gets), I can't call myself anything but a fan of the company. They might get a lot of flack now, but there's no denying that after the video game crash back in 1983, Nintendo entering the video game market alone (they originally were going to partner with another company to release the NES stateside) revitalized the game industry in the mid 1980s, and they became a titan of a company in the last 30 years. They're sort of a relic of a company, too, because of all the game companies to release game consoles, Nintendo is the only one left which is ONLY a game company and nothing else. Microsoft has their computers, Sony has home electronics, but Nintendo? They are a game company and that alone. I raise a glass to them for weathering the storm of 30 years of game industry mayhem, bringing many many many great games to my hands, and producing a dozen or more great series of games. 

Thanks for reading~ Next blog will be my PS3 analysis, but for now, sorry about the long wait for this blog, it was a lot of typing but I'm glad I finished it!!